The New York Times reports on a return of women-only floors after a “drought of 25 years”. The article notes that “the floors are a variation on the originals — which were intended to provide a safe haven for women traveling alone on business but ended up being considered “a kind of sexist thing,” as one hotel analyst put it.
Instead, the new Crowne Plaza Milwaukee-Wauwatosa says it has set up a “female-friendly” enclave. Anyone booking a room on the Women’s Executive Level — the seventh floor — has access to a variety of amenities like a Victoria’s Secret robe, a blow dryer and vanity mirrors”. But the US is not going the way of Saudi Arabia with women only hotels operated by women only as at the hotel in Milwaukee “male guests can book a room on the floor, too”.
The purpose as management at the Crowne Plaza noted is not to fence off men but to allow for the privacy needs of individual female travelers, a fast growing market for hotels.
Other hotels have followed suit including in “Albany (NY), the downtown Hampton Inn just introduced a floor for female guests that offers cookies, flavored coffees, skin moisturizers and extra-soft socks, plus a half-hour session in the hotel’s massage chair. The Albany program does permit men on the women’s floor on weekends”.
Nevertheless, the Times notes that “women’s floors remain a delicate topic among business travelers” with a significant minority of women panning the idea. Hotels are working around that by not being exclusionary to either sex and offering extras such as a “luxurious room” on a concierge or special floor for a few extra dollars, a feature that ended up being popular with ladies.